I don’t do “touch ups”

"Hi. I came across this post and thought.. WOW.. fabulous skin. So much
so that I ran to the store to check it out. I tried on the exact tone
and faces, too. They looked nothing like these pictures. I tried them
with and without facelights, different day settings. My av shape is
great, too, so it’s not that. Then I looked at your pictures again and
realized how touched up your images are, that not even your white hair
is pixelated — white hair in sl is notorious for obvious pixelated
edges. While I think it’s nice people supply shopping info for others
who may be interested, I think it is best not to worry about how your
avatar looks in your post but to give an honest rendering of the
material you are propagating to the masses — that way we, the readers,
can see what the skins and so forth actually look like to save us time.
Touched up images don’t sell others products, they waste the buyer’s
time."
– Sherri
I

I saw this comment about my Cupcakes skin reviews on iheartsl.com and it really bothered me because I am not here to deceive people who read my blog. I don't EVER Photoshop photos on my skin reviews to fix flaws or blemishes. What you see is what you get, no post-processing whatsoever except for a simple crop (and I use picnik.com).

Here are reasons why I don't retouch images:

1. There are skin demos, what's the point of trying to fix/hide flaws?

2. I don't have time to spend fixing up images since I blog A LOT.

3. I don't care if a skin designer sells 1 skin or 1000 skins as a result of my blog entry (though I am happy for them if they get sales from being featured).

4. My aim is to show the item as-is, so people keep coming back to my blog because they have a reasonable expectation that what is seen in my photos is what the product REALLY looks like in-world.

5. I'm too lazy to PS every image to death.

There are more reasons why I don't PS, but those are the main ones.

( click the image to view full size )

The image above was taken in-world with absolutely NO post-processing. The light settings are – default noon | my own personal outdoor sunlight setting | my blog photos settting. As you can see, noon is pretty craptastic compared to the blog setting, which removes most shadows & brightens up the image a lot. I don't need to PS, I can't even imagine how I could make the image "better" and I don't know how.

"Then I looked at your pictures again and realized how touched up your
images are, that not even your white hair is pixelated — white hair in
sl is notorious for obvious pixelated edges."

It sounds to me like, your graphics settings for SL needs anti-alias turned on. I can't give the info how, but you should be able to Google the answer for your specific graphics card/computer. Optimizing your graphics settings and playing with Windlight will
produce some pretty fantastic images without needing to touch-up.

"Touched up images don’t sell others products, they waste the buyer’s time."

I totally agree, this is why I keep my photos simple. If I ever edit an image, its because it's more of an artsy photo than a product review.

I hope that clears that up….

I'm wearing the Cupcakes Lovespell (Honey) Golddust skin, since I wore this skin in the original post that this comment was directed at. I've made new Windlight settings for blogging, since I no longer liked the old ones that I've used before (they were too red) ~ so the skin doesn't photograph *exactly* the same as the original post that I've linked to, but it's the same skin and no PS then OR now.

Posted by Gogo

Second Life Blogger since 2007. If you're reading this about me blurb, then you're already at my blog. Welcome to JuicyBomb! I write about fashion and events on the grid that appeals to me.

21 comments

  1. … you can’t blame the blogger if you have not optimised your own settings… but I guess a lot is because since the introduction of windlight, every person’s SL looks different. Great post Gogo!

  2. i will say this….i’ve followed you blog for a while since i’ve started and i’ve seen some skins that i love like crazy…then some that i’m not crazy about when i get to the store….and it has totally nothing to do with what has been photoshopping…that’s cause of my shape…half the skins at laq (which i found from you)…look wonderful on other people…but look bad on me….even some gala skins looks bad on me…that’s why most people say you have to adjust every shape for the skins…now as a photo editor…i will say this….your skin pics are natural…cause i see no contrast…i see no blur….i see no overlays….i see a plain picture…with high settings…which eveyone that has a good graphics card can have…now this is coming from another editors eye…so i can’t say what others see…but i can say what i see on the skin pics…and they look pretty natural to me…anyways…i’m blabbing…loving the skin expose pics…and i hope to see more 🙂

  3. I agree – the new graphic cards leave very little to edit and if you have your settings done right .. prefection. It is also a matter of shapes as well. People do not realize the need for a good shape and how much it adds – even with great shapes .. when I shop with my girlfriend – I can pick out which skins will look great on her that look crap on me and vica versa – same applies to hair. She can wear hair I would love to but it looks ridiculous on me.
    I think your blog has been pretty straight on providing the goods to people about the skins. You give the same fair treatment and representation to all the skins you do so it is a pretty safe bet to check your site out and see how the skins are going. Not only are the pics great and detailed – you tend to write about what you think are the strengths and weaknesses. Just by the sheer volume of skins you do, you have to have developed a good eye – certainly you know wayyyy more than someone like me.
    And finally, there is not “Blog rule Book” that we all have to adhere to. We blog for different reasons – some ’cause they like to take pics and so they do extra work on that – some like to write – some like to see their avi in different things or maybe situations. Not everyone is doing a public service announcement.
    *dusting off my soap box and putting it away* … ok I am done … hehe

  4. *shakes her head* I think in part the persons perceptions come from the fact that alot of people do photoshop images in blogs and on flickr, but I’ve never thought that about your pictures.
    I do alot of shopping based off your blog BECAUSE your photos are so true to SL. The skins usually look exactly as you portray them when I get em on. Windlight and proper lighting makes all the difference.

  5. Hi there,
    I was wondering which windlight settings you are using to achieve the images you have on your blog?
    Ty!

  6. I recommend your Lighting Tutorial to all. It is the most easy to use. And Rx, you find it to the left here: Gogo’s Lighting Tutorial

  7. I sometimes find skins in your posts to look more pale then they do for me in world, but the skin itself… the features, makeup, quality, etc never seem to be altered. Sharing your light settings may help the confusion some have.

  8. I’ve been watching Gogo’s blog for almost two years now and she was one of the ones LONG ago that explained how to get rid of shadows on faces and she posted her Windlight settings. Finding them might be a bit tricky as it was so long ago :D.
    Skins can look completely different depending on the shape of the avatar. For me, it has been the nose area, for others I know, the mouth that simply doesn’t work. Some skins that look glorious on others look horrible on me. This is why there are DEMOS!
    There was a period of time — over a year ago I think — that the blogs were filled with “arty” photography. You couldn’t tell much at all about what the skin or the clothes really looked like. Gogo’s in not the case. She simply knows how to make lighting work for her. This is a GOOD THING!
    So let’s not complain, let’s learn how to do a better job. And if your computer is one that can’t handle Windlight or you have your preferences turned down to LOW, then do a little homework and learn how to use your tools a bit. You will look better in your own eyes — and if you are a blogger, you’ll look better for all of your readers too *wink*

  9. Many people just don’t know what a difference tinkering with windlight settings can make to a picture, as well shooting at a higher resolution. I find that windlight is different on different viewers, and changes depending on location and lighting setup. Even then I may need to tinker with gamma or direction to get a properly lit pic.

  10. I think is due to windlight presets, lot of people use diferents presets, ur preset turns the skin paler than it really is and this makes the shadows softer and give to ur photos this adorable look, so is very possible that in other people some skins shows seams, rough shadows or redish colors. But I think is no secret that the people that visits ur blog know that u like pale skins and pale look. Maybe u could share ur rpeset, but i wouldn’t do cos is what gives personality to the bloggers.
    In the end ur photos are not far away from reality and compared with other bloggers that they cleary retouch ur photos are accurate

  11. Mostly, it all has to do with the avie’s shape. Not all shapes are good for all skins. I love my avie’s shape and always look for a skin that looks good with my shape, not the other way around. BTW, I think your blog is fantastic.
    -Shelly

  12. just had to lol at this.. what a tard. you are constantly pointing out seams and what not to people.. why would you photoshop anything?
    also i’m not sure if it its official but i found a windlight setting in a pack that someone sent me called “gogo’s light” and its alot like your lighting that you use.. i almost went blind X_x dunno how you shoot with it that bright but you make it look good!
    and finally i’ve never had troubles with white hair being pixelated at the edges O_o

  13. White hair is pixelated? Err, I’ve never had that problem.
    I wish people would research a bit before posting comments like that.

  14. Hi Juicy, I have never seen that problem with your pictures and actually think your pictures are some of the best I’ve seen on blogs — clear and detailed and so helpful.
    I think its also worth commenting that WL or no WL settings, every computer’s monitor is different and even that can dramatically alter color (anyone who has done any RL shopping online knows this well). Especially if someone has an older monitor, or a laptop vs. a desktop, the color configs can really affect how an image is displayed.
    Thanks for compiling such great posts for us and please keep ’em coming!! Hugs!!!! :o)
    xoxo
    Tesh
    http://slexyfashionista.blogspot.com/

  15. It’s seldom that I don’t have to make at least some changes to my shape when I buy a new skin. Usually to my lips and nose, occasionally distance between eyes. I’m really happy when I find a skin that fits my shape as is but that doesn’t happen very often, which is okay too because I like to mix it up sometimes.
    But I think that this person merely needs to try adjusting their windlight and making use of anti-aliasing. I used to have a bunch of pixelating around my avatar too (not exclusively w/ white hair though o.O ) until I followed a few tutorials that were really easy to find through simple searches. And now my photos are much better. Actually I think that Gogo’s windlight tutorial was how I originally found her blog, lol!
    Anyway, I think your reviews are fair and honest and very useful. And your pictures have never struck me as looking anything but natural. I’m no stranger to photo editing and I can usually tell when a picture’s been adjusted in photoshop.

  16. I use a combination of Photoshop and windlight depending on the lighting effect i want. Photoshopped stuff can sell. so can natural. it all depends on what you are looking for and what you think is good.
    either one is fine.
    also Thanks for the anti-aliasing tip.

  17. Hi i’ve tried using your settings on my PC and i’m noticing mine are not quite as bright as yours seem to look.
    I’ve tried messing around with the brightness and gamma on my Nvidia Control panel and it’s helped a little but still not as great as yours seem to be.

    I was wondering if you have your Graphics settings set to a certain level on your PC to achieve this level of brightness?

    Thanks

  18. Thanks for the great work, girlfriend. I’m ill, and don’t have the energy, or neurological capability to keep up with blogs. Yours is the -only- one I read, and with good reason! You’re concise, descriptive, comprehensive, and drama-free. Never mind that it will always find you. That’s an online hazard. It’s like working in the pasture here on my Texan farm, as a teen: you presume there’s gonna be something unpleasant to step in now and again; put on your boots, and proceed with the task at hand. 😉 Take care!

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